Comcare will roll out a low-intensity cognitive behaviour therapy program to up to 120,000 Commonwealth employees over the next two years, while continuing to provide mental health first-aid training to its own workers, its 2019-20 annual report shows.
This article examines all the must-know workplace safety, workers' compensation and COVID-19 developments from July, August and September 2020, with highlights including a new WHS Code for the pandemic, the Dreamworld judgment, a record double-fatality fine and gross negligence cases.
The Federal Government has been accused of "inaction" affecting work safety standards, with Safe Work Australia's latest statistics report showing the national work-related fatality toll increased for the first time in more than a decade.
Australia's WHS framework is robust and can help duty holders grapple with the ever-changing impact of COVID-19 on health and safety, but mitigating pandemic hazards is not a one-size-fits-all approach, according to department heads from two Federal safety agencies.
The Federal Government has, in its 2020-21 budget, committed hundreds of millions of dollars to detecting COVID-19 in asymptomatic workers and others, maintaining the paid pandemic leave scheme, and helping the Fair Work Commission cope with its increasing workload.
Comcare has reported receiving a string of injury claims associated with the rapid transition to home-based work for COVID-19, while a wellness service has warned that many workplace leaders are at risk of burnout, including from home-work arrangements and other pandemic stressors.